The PineHills Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club has a deserved reputation as a player-friendly layout. With a course rating and slope of 69.9/125 from the white tees, the Arthur Hills design provides a chance to go low, but that doesn’t mean the course is without potential pitfalls.
Interspersed between holes that offer the opportunity to make birdie are a trio of potential card-wreckers. In the interest of helping you post the best score of your next Myrtle Beach golf trip, here are three holes at PineHills you have to survive.
● After a pair of short-ish par 4s to open the round, the 482-yard (all distances from the white tees) third hole (pictured right) forces players to confront real danger for the first time. Distance isn’t the issue but the first two shots on this straight-away par 5 are troublesome. Center-right is the ideal location off the tee but players tend to pull the ball to stay away from water, which encroaches on the fairway the longer you hit it. Golfers that pull the ball then face a pair of large trees that flank the left side, forcing you to play back toward the large pond, where there is little room to layup. Players not familiar with the hole have drowned a lot of balls on the second shot, at which point bogey is a good score. Crucial piece of advice: know where the water is in relation to where you want to hit your second shot and err on the side of caution.
● A nearly 90-degree dogleg right, the 394-yard eighth hole (top photo) is the longest par 4 on the PineHills Course. If you hit it long enough to clear the corner of the dogleg, driving the ball up the right side is advantageous, but it brings trees and the possibility of a big number into play. Pull the ball off the tee and a long approach awaits, effectively turning No. 8 into a par 4 ½. The hole isn’t that difficult with a long, straight tee shot but anything else will turn it into a real struggle.
● The challenge on the 374-yard 18th hole (pictured right) is similar in that the tee shot is vital. Drives that favor the right are rewarded, helping reduce the threat posed by water that lines the left side of the green on your approach, but first you have to clear a quintet of bunkers. The further your tee shot goes left, the more dangerous that water becomes because the approach on No. 18 is the course’s nerviest. A bunker on the right side of the green – leaving you to blast out toward the water – offers little room to bailout. The final approach has to be a good one, lest you face potential disaster. Two well struck shots are a necessity to have any hope of making par, so take a deep breath and trust your swing.
The PineHills Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club should yield low scores for your group, provided you successfully navigate these three holes.